Pattin Juba Dance

The Juba dance or hambone, originally known as Pattin' Juba (Giouba, Haiti: Djouba), is an African American style of dance that involves stomping as well as slapping and patting the arms, legs, chest, and cheeks (clapping). "Pattin' Juba" would be used to keep time for other dances during a walkaround. A Juba Dance performance could include:
  • counter-clockwise turning, often with one leg raised
  • stomping and slapping
  • steps such as "the Jubal Jew," "Yaller Cat," "Pigeon Wing" and "Blow That Candle Out."

The dance traditionally ends with a step called "the Long Dog Scratch". Modern variations on the dance include Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley Beat" and the step-shows of African American Greek organizations.[1]

The Juba dance was originally brought by Kongo slaves to Charleston, South Carolina.[2] It became an African-American plantation dance that was performed by slaves during their gatherings when no rhythm instruments were allowed due to fear of secret codes hidden in the drumming. The sounds were also used just as Yoruba and Haitian talking drums were used to communicate.[3][unreliable source?] The dance was performed in Dutch Guiana, the Caribbean, and the southern United States.[4]

Later in the mid-19th century, music and lyrics were added, and there were public performances of the dance. Its popularization may have indirectly influenced the development of modern tap dance[citation needed]. The most famous Juba dancer was William Henry Lane, or Master Juba, one of the first black performers in the United States. It was often danced in minstrel shows, and is mentioned in songs such as "Christy's New Song" and "Juba",[5] the latter by Nathaniel Dett.[6]

Hambone was famously adopted and adapted in the 1950s by the legendary Rhythm & Blues singer Bo Diddley, in creating the distinctive "Bo Diddley beat", which was copied by a host of top rock singers


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